The Tata Sons group has emerged as the preferred bidder for the state-run Air India, Bloomberg reports. Tata Sons, India’s budget airline operator, is recommended ahead of SpiceJet, according to reports from a panel of ministers. In response to Reuters’ request for comment, Air India and Tata Sons declined to comment. Since 2012, a bailout has kept debt-laden Air India’s wings aloft.
Its entire stake in the loss-making airline has been on the market since the PM Narendra Modi government took office. There are daily losses of nearly 200 million rupees for the government when it comes to running the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of more than 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials have said. Government officials eased the terms after an attempt to auction a majority stake almost three years back but failed to attract bids. In addition, the deadline was also extended multiple times because of the pandemic.
Air India was founded by the Tata Group in 1932. It was nationalized by the government in 1953. As reported in several media outlets, the government has started evaluating the financial bids made by Tata Group and SpiceJet founder for the acquisition of Air India. A huge step forward was made in the direction of privatizing national carriers. Only the valuation advisor and transaction advisor will be able to make the final bid on the Air India Sale.